Producing a high top quality food product starts at the farm yard level, and prevention is the only method to guarantee milk is of good quality and also flavor.

You are watching: Milk tastes funny not expired



Sometimes details nutrition programs or administration practices ~ above the farm yard can reason off-flavor problems in milk. This deserve to have long-term ramifications with consumers because of a negative tasting product. This have the right to undermine customer confidence in dairy products products. Therefore, that is in everyone\"s attention to avoid these cases from happening regardless of the source. This fact sheet will attend to the typical off-flavor problems and how they have the right to be prevented.

Classification of Off-flavors

Off-flavors commonly found in milk have the right to be share in three simple categories - the ABC\"s of off-flavor development.

Absorbed - feedy, barny, cowy, unclean, weedy, and also musty.Bacterial - acid, malty, unclean, fruity, and putrid.Chemical - cowy (ketosis), rancid, oxidized, sunlight, and medicinal.

Absorbed odor defects can construct before, during and also after milking. It can happen when milk is left uncovered in the consumer\"s refrigerator or maintained in cold rooms and dairy instances with various other odor-producing foods.

Bacterial degradation results native bacteria that get into the milk upon contact with improperly wash or sanitized equipment, from external contamination, and also is do worse by not correct cooling. Infection of cows need to not be considered as a source of high bacteria counts until all other reasons have to be eliminated.

Chemical defects can occur both before and after milking. The cowy or ketone flavor is the result of the animal suffering indigenous ketosis. A international flavor deserve to be resulted in by medications, a reaction come pesticides, disinfectants, or any number of contaminants. Rancidity and oxidation an outcome from the deterioration of milkfat.

Rancid Flavor

A soapy-bitter taste is identifiable v rancidity. There shows up to be a seasonal affect with the months between July and September having the highest occurrences. Rancidity is resulted in by a chemical development, which proceeds until the milk is pasteurized. It entails lipase and also other enzymes, which react v the milkfat to type free fatty acids. The vital to avoidance is to have intact membranes approximately milkfat globules. Causes of rancid flavor are those things that an outcome in dilute or broken milkfat globule membranes.

Some farm yard related causes include:

Lack of adequate protein in the diet.Not feeding enough total energy because that the level of milk produced.Milking cows much longer than 305 days.Added stress when milking cows an ext than two times per day.Air leaks in pipeline milkers.Flooding the pipelines and receiver jars.Partial or less than every various other day collection of milk from farms.Freezing in the mass tank.Over agitation in the bulk tank.

Some non-farm related causes include:

Holding life milk in handling plants more than 48 hours after collection.Failure come empty and also wash raw milk storage tanks every processing day.Air leaks in pipes.Running pumps in a starved condition.Homogenization before pasteurization.

To correct a rancidity problem, begin with the milk as processed and proceed earlier to the farm. Load samples of every milk received at the handling plant should be tasted on regular basis after laboratory pasteurization that 145°F for 30 minutes. Milk samples should be held for 48 hours after arsenal from farms and also then tasted. Periodically there is a slim butyric acid odor connected with rancid milk, however most of the moment samples should be tasted to recognize rancidity.

At the farm yard level, there are tools observations that have the right to be made. Check the pipeline and receiver jar throughout milking because that foaming or flooding, or if the milk pump operation continuously. Check all fittings on pipeline milkers for tightness and also close fit. Minimize air injection at claws and avoid over milking cows. No much more than two units should be supplied on a 1.5-inch pipeline milker because that each slope, i.e. 2 units on every side because that a twin slope line. Do not milk straight through sweet jars. Check the bulk tank for evidence of freeze or churning.

In herds with countless late lactation animals, it might be crucial to sample milk from all four quarters on pets milking in overfill of 305 days. The milk have to be stored for 48 hours and also then tasted. If milk samples taste rancid, few of their milk might need come be sail from the mass tank.

Maintain milk high quality by keeping the herd somatic cell counts below 250,000 every ml. Examine the ration regimen for suitable fiber levels and particle size, fat content, and also protein and also energy levels suitable for animal production.

Acid degree Value (ADV)

Rancidity is characterized by the relax of totally free fatty acids because of the action of the lipase enzyme. As soon as consumers taste rancid milk, they space detecting the short chain fat acids. An Acid degree Value test can be used to measure up the presence of long chain fat acids. Over there is about a 70 percent correlation in between flavor and ADV.

ADVs are an ext meaningful for raw milk samples from separation, personal, instance farms. In blended milk on van or in silo tanks the result of milk from one farm yard is minimized. Rancid milk indigenous one farm yard may reason a rancid smell in the whole tank. Therefore, ADV outcomes from combined milk are not an extremely meaningful.

Milk samples native individual farms should have ADVs of much less than 0.80. As soon as results exceed 1.00, the milk will have a soapy-bitter taste. Some ranches may have ADVs above 1.00 at the time of processing. ADVs should be carried out at the moment the milk is processed rather than once the milk is obtained at the plant. Once ADV results exceed 1.20, one have the right to expect consumer complaints and also a an adverse effect on consumption and sales. Action should be taken as soon as samples outcomes are over 1.00.

Farm Oxidized Flavor

Oxidized flavor is likewise a reaction that milkfat. Milk with a cardboardy or metallic taste is an ext common in milk throughout the winter and early spring. The off- flavor deserve to be detected in life milk, however sometimes no until 2 days after collection. It can likewise be a trouble in any pasteurized milk or dairy products product that has not to be flavored. Reasons are different than because that the light induced smell of milk purchased at stores, back the taste is similar.

Increased susceptibility the milk come the chemical development of oxidation is due primarily to less antioxidant in the milk. The main reason is the decreased amount that vitamin E, an antioxidant, in save on computer forages, which reduces the amount uncovered in milk.

Once milkfat has started to oxidize, the strongness will proceed to rise overtime. The taste may not be obvious in the milk, yet may be detected in high fat products such together butter or vanilla ice cream cream. In the bulk of cases, oxidized flavor problems start in ~ the farm.

There space several reasons of oxidized odor on ranches or in handling plants. Lock include:

Equipment surfaces improperly cleaned.Minerals in the water supply.Acid water and copper tubing.Use that chlorine sanitizers.Stored forages low in vitamin E.Feeding high level of vegetables fats, i.e. Soybeans, cottonseeds.

It is usually important to exactly all reasons of the problem before the off-flavor will disappear. Feeding extra vitamin E will certainly not overcome excessive copper or stole in the water supply supplied to wash tools or compensate for dirty milking equipment. There space corrective and also preventative actions that have the right to be taken. They encompass the following:

Wash every surfaces that space exposed come milk after every use. Any milkfat or protein left in a bulk or storage tank, pipeline, milker unit, or pump oxidizes readily. Examine all devices on the farm, in truck tanks, and also receiving rooms to be certain that they room clean.The existence of copper or iron in the water offered to wash equipment will cause oxidized flavor. As tiny as 0.1 ppm copper or iron may cause a problem. Unless another water it is provided is available, treatment is necessary.Water in mining locations may be acidic. When copper tube is provided to transfer the water to the milk house, some copper may be removed. The will settle on equipment surfaces and also cause oxidation as soon as milk comes right into contact. Copper tubing have to not be supplied for water in the milk home if the farm has actually acid water.Sanitizers space oxidizing agents, therefore solutions should be completely drained from every equipment. Chlorine precipitates metals, for this reason iodine sanitizers space recommended for devices when an oxidized flavor trouble is present. However, the is not proper to rinse v water ~ sanitizing.Provide some environment-friendly feed, i.e. Pasture or greenchop to milking cows from might to October. This contain high level of beta- carotene and vitamin E.Check the ration for enough protein content. It must be ideal for the level the milk being produced. Examine that the milk protein contents is normal.Ingredients that increase the relationship of unsaturated fat acids in the milk may increase the milk\"s susceptibility come oxidation.Nutritional problems, which boring the milkfat percent, regularly increase the unsaturation the the milkfat and make it an ext susceptible to oxidation. To exactly milkfat depression, advice the ration for fiber levels, particle size, fat content and source, and also the cereal grain resource (i.e. Heat-treated, bit size, high moisture). Milkfat check is taken into consideration depressed as soon as it falls more than 0.3 percent listed below breed average.Light exposure that milk in a glass or plastic milk line will certainly not cause an off-flavor problem. The exposure time to sunlight, daylight, or fluorescent light is also short.When obvious causes have been corrected and also the difficulty persists, add 1,000 or approximately 7,000 worldwide Units the vitamin E per animal daily for one to 2 weeks. This need to be done only in excessive cases. Consult with a nutritionist prior to feeding these levels.

Feed Flavor

All feed spices are took in through the cows system rather directly into the milk. Cows impart an odor and also taste within 30 minute of eating or breathing silage. The is the strongest after around one hour.

The odor and taste the grass or corn silage, legume hay, and also brewer\"s grains room the ingredients resulting in most of the problems. The two approaches which odor deserve to be moved to milk is:

Nose or mouth → lung → blood → milkMouth → digestive tract → blood → milk

Unclean Flavor

Some farm milk samples have actually an unpleasant, dirty ~ taste. This difficulty often occurs throughout winter. Generally it is an soaked up flavor, favor silage. Normally cows breathe air through a barny odor and also transfer it to the milk.

Dust, dirt and also manure can cause an unclean odor of milk. Cows and their surroundings should be preserved clean. Milking equipment that has not been appropriately cleaned and sanitized may be a factor.

Washing a cow\"s udder with water and failing to dried them is among the primary causes of unclean flavors. Be certain excess humidity is removed.

In a little to average sized herd, a couple of animals v ketosis will reason an unclean flavor. This odor and taste is objectionable.

Follow these suggestions to protect against unclean flavor troubles in milk:

Keep floors, walls, and also ceilings of milking and also housing locations reasonably clean.Provide adequate ventilation to remove stale odors.Clip hair from the udder, teats, and flanks that milk cows.Provide adequately bedded stalls so the cows may lie down.Wash udder and teats with a sanitizer solution and dry before attaching milker units.Clean and sanitize every milk dealing with equipment in between uses.In some scenarios it might be important to withhold milk native ketotic cows.


Milk is fantastic growth tool for bacteria. It provides the nutrients and moisture and has a near neutral pH. Off-flavors space the results of bacterial expansion (psychrotrophs). The type of bacteria is an ext important than the number.

Psychrotrophs include plenty of kinds of bacteria, every one of which cause spoilage. Their ideal expansion temperature is 65-70°F. Cold temperatures sluggish their growth, yet do no kill them. At 45°F or above, bacterial growth is steady and also off-flavors might be current in 2 to 3 days.

Malty flavor tastes like Grapenut cereal. The reason is due to Streptococcus lactis in poorly cooled milk. The problem can be exacerbated once the milk native one mass tank is blended with that from plenty of others in a truck tank, then in a plant raw milk storage tank. A sample that milk from a farm mass tank no cooled because that 12 hours will constantly have a high bacteria count.

Malty odor is generally a forerunner of a high acid flavor. That rarely develops in pasteurized milk. However, the characteristic smell will continue to be after processing, back the flavor developed in raw milk. If not quit by pasteurization, a malty flavor will certainly later come to be high acid.

High Acid

Bacterial flavors room not agree in milk for liquid or manufactured purposes. Sanitation is the crucial to staying clear of high acid flavors. Spoilage is due to bacterial action on lactose (milk sugar).

All milk dealing with equipment surfaces have to be washed after each use and sanitized simply prior come reuse. This consists of washing every milking units, pails, and pipelines top top a double per work basis. Bulk tanks have to be washed every time they are emptied.

Milk indigenous the mass tank must be choose up at least every other day. Longer time periods between pickup and also partial emptying of a tank causes problems. Any type of milk left in a bulk tank for more than 3 days has the potential the high bacteria counts and off-flavors in liquid milk and also manufactured products.

Depending on milk composition, typical acidity test results can vary from 0.13 come 0.17 percent lactic acid. Before a hints of acid taste have the right to be detected, this will certainly usually increase to over 0.20 percent. Milk deserve to safely be offered for fluid purposes if mountain does not exceed this and also there is no acid taste at the moment of pasteurization.


Psychrotrophs cause flavors that space often defined as stale, absence freshness, fruity, bitter, fermented or putrid. Frequently the titratable acidity might be near normal.

Putrid flavors room the an outcome of bacter contamination, warehouse temperature over 40°F, and age. Spoilage of the milk is by bacterial action on the protein rather than on the lactose. Putrid milk will curdle, separate, and also may odor rotten if left for a few days.

The many common resource of the trouble is pollution in handling plants complying with pasteurization. Psychrotrophs perform not generally survive pasteurization unless big numbers of the bacteria are present in the life milk. Normally the pollution occurs due to the fact that some part of the pumping, holding, and filling mechanism is not correctly cleaned and sanitized.

Putrid flavors might originate in life milk caused by contamination and also holding life milk for three or four days after arsenal from farms. Occasionally, sleeve samples the milk are found with putrid flavors and also excellent bacteria counts. This can result when bacteria counts in the millions are existing in raw milk at the moment of pasteurization. Ideal pasteurization and also packaging without contamination eliminates many of the psychrotrophs. Although all the bacteria space destroyed, the spoiled odor remains. No heating, vacuum therapy or other processing procedure will certainly lessen the flavor.

See more: At What Grave Do Tourists Often Leave A Penny At The Grave Of Which Man


Guidelines for preventing Off-Flavors in Milk. 1991. The Dairy techniques Council.